India and UNDP's 2010 HDI report

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    On every dimension

    This is the 20th year of the UN’s Human Development Report, and over its two decades it has moved from an intriguing, slightly academic, sidelight of development economics into the mainstream of public policy. From the start, the project, although global in scope, was always led by the problems that South Asia, in particular, faced most acutely — unsurprising, since it was developed and led for years by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul-Haq, who was that country’s finance minister for most of the ’80s. He, along with Amartya Sen, pioneered the idea of development as being more than just greater income: it also meant access to more and more options, to the capability to fulfil more and more of your aspirations.The Human Development Index or HDI, the report’s main product, reflects this idea: it includes income, but also quantifications of access to health and education — life expectancy and mean years of schooling, for example. This HDR looks at the big movers, the countries that have improved the all-round lives of their citizens most. Here there’s an interesting point: India features in the top 10 of those countries when in an income-focused HDI; when income-related parameters are taken out, then India loses its spot. That shows something: our ability to convert our astounding income growth into actual opportunities for our citizens isn’t world-class.The HDR also expands itself to two new measures, both of which contain lessons for India. The first is “multi-dimensional poverty”, which takes into account aspects of poverty that go beyond low income, and thus deepen our notions of the poor. The implications for India are strong: eight Indian states have poverty as acute as the 26 poorest African countries, and are home to more poor people than those countries. And the caste-wise division is stark as well: a third of upper-caste households are poor on several dimensions, as opposed to two-thirds of Scheduled Castes and four-fifths of Scheduled Tribes. Such questions of inequality matter, the report argues, and quantifies them through an inequality-adjusted HDI, which causes India to drop sharply down the ranks. Indeed, unlike ordinary income inequality, grave inequality in the HDI reveals sharp divisions in opportunities. It means that the state is failing to provide its citizens with the ability to improve their chances, meet their aspirations — or is failing to get out of the way and let its citizens do it for themselves. The report has shown: India’s done well to grow. But the services its citizens expect have not kept up.


    Full Report can be read at
  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    India still low in human development index, in top 10 on income growth

    The Human Development Report (HDR) 2010, released by the UNDP today, highlighted India as among the 10 countries that showed the fastest progress in human development, in terms of income-related measures, between 1970 and 2010. In fact, in an indication of the changing geography of economic growth, eight out of the top 10 improvers are from East, Southeast and South Asia (China was first). Botswana and Malta are the only two countries from outside these regions that figure in the list.

    However, oddly, the Report clubs India along with 20 other countries where a potential for exposure to “civil war” imposes limitations on “freedom from fear”. While Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Colombia are categorised as countries with “major civil war” threats, India is put into a league with Burundi, Mali, Sudan, Myanmar, Iran and Israel among others in a “minor civil war” threat category (for those with civil conflicts that have resulted in fewer than 1,000 deaths).

    India, otherwise, is ranked as a “Medium Human Development” country, and is 119th of 169 territories listed in the 2010 report. Norway, at the top, has a Human Development Index (HDI) value of 0.938; India’s is 0.519. The Report points out that India’s ranking has improved by only a single spot between 2005 and 2010. In other words, while income-related factors have done well, India has performed relatively poorly on the other indicators.

    Neighbouring China and Nepal have been highlighted as the countries that have made the greatest progress in improving their HDI value. China is ranked 89 and has a middle-level HDI of 0.663. Nepal, at 0.428 is ranked low, at 138. Yet Nepal is the second-best performer in terms of improving the non-income aspects of human development, despite its record of civil insurgency. The Report ascribes this to a “major public policy push”. Free primary education from 1971 and secondary education in 2007 meant enrolment and literacy soared; health improved through “the extension of primary healthcare through community participation, local mobilisation of resources and decentralisation.” Pakistan, meanwhile, has been ranked 6 places below India, with an HDI of 0.490.

    The 2010 report introduced the inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI), described as measuring human development after accounting for inequality in the distribution of health, education and income. While the average loss in the HDI value when adjusted for inequality is about 22 per cent, India loses about 30 per cent of its HDI value, from 0.519 to 0.365. The Report says 40 per cent of this loss is because of inequality in education, while over 31 per cent is inequality in health. Income inequality slices off only about 15 per cent.

    The Report also highlights variations within India, comparing the level of “multi-dimensional poverty” — in which the poor also lack access to health and education — across regions and castes. Delhi is comparable to Iraq or Vietnam, while Bihar is like war-torn Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, 81 per cent of Scheduled Tribes are multi-dimensionally poor, compared to one-third of upper-caste households, who collectively are at the HDI level of middle-income Honduras. The “intensity and incidence” of poverty, the Report says, is greater in South Asia than in any other region.

    The Report makes a case for extending the domain of economic policy to all forms of well-being, including political participation. The NREGA, in a section authored by Jean Dreze and Reetika Khera, finds a mention. Interestingly, the Report tackles the “income-first” approach of China, an intellectual challenge to HDI-based thinking, head-on. It points out that early in China’s reform period “public social services deteriorated and in some places even collapsed.” It goes on to argue that in the last decade, China has changed focus. In 2002, Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom, an attack on China-style policies, was translated into Chinese; and, when healthcare was being reformed in 2005, a crucial expert-group at the ministry of health was asked to read the book, the most prominent exposition of the Sen-Haq thesis that human capabilities and opportunities are what matter.
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Some unexpected results........ Pakistan better than India in gender equality!?!

    India is worse than Pakistan on gender equality

    NEW DELHI: Believe it or not when it comes to gender inequities India fares worse than Pakistan. In fact, the country fares lower than all other countries in South Asia save Afghanistan. These are the findings of the 2010 Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Programme on Thursday as per its Gender Inequality Index.

    So while Pakistan may be in the news for its treatment of women and might have become a hot bed for international women's activism, it certainly seems to know how to take care of its mothers better. On maternal mortality, India -- with its abysmal record -- trails Pakistan.

    Reproductive health is the largest contributor to the inequality index. The other indicators, based on which it is calculated, include women's participation in the labour force, their level of empowerment based on educational attainment and parliamentary representation.

    For maternal mortality, the figure for Pakistan is 320 deaths per 100,000 live births. In India, the corresponding figure stands at 450. The country also falters on adolescent fertility rate, another indicator of reproductive health.

    As per this data, in India the adolescent fertility rate is 68 births per 1,000 live births as compared to 45 births per 1,000 live births in Pakistan. The figures illustrate that Pakistan have fewer younger mothers.

    India, however, does better in female participation in the labour force, with the figure being 36% for the nation as opposed to 23% for Pakistan.

    However, the country has been really found wanting on the health front.

    India ranks 122 among 138 countries for which the gender inequality measure has been calculated. Pakistan is at 116, and Bangladesh is a notch higher at 112.

    The other area, where India needs to do better is at the level of Parliamentary participation. India, the reports states, stands out as an exception where 30% local government seats are reserved for women. However, participation at this level has not been incorporated in the report. If India wants to fare better on this front, then Congress President Sonia Gandhi will have to keep her promise of ensuring reservation for women in Parliament and the legislative assemblies.

    After all, most countries where women have found more places in Parliament are those where affirmative action has been put in place like Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and even Rwanda.

    What is disconcerting is that the indicators are not moving despite the government being well aware of the problems and even after adopting corrective measures as in the case of maternal mortality and improving sex ratios.

    On the education front, at secondary and higher level, too, India needs to move fast to remove the disparity. While 50% men are covered at this level, for women, this figure stands at a mere 27%. The measured indicators are not the only concern. Involvement and efforts of women in a number of areas go unaccounted due to lack of data. The inclusion of such factors can make the picture even bleaker. Time use, access to assets and domestic violence are just some of the aspects that are missing.
  5. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

    Jun 3, 2009
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    It must be pointed out that indices such as infant/maternal mortality rates and adolescent fertility are highly dependent upon the country's infrastructure for accumulating social metrics, and this discrepancy can't always be adjusted for accurately.

    India is clearly doing poorly, however within the developing world India has a better record on issuing birth/death certificates, recording pre/post natal statistics, birth weights, crime reports etc. so in essence there is far better and more information to evaluate. Nobody records births, deaths or crime in vast swaths of Pakistan; in fact most of the region is simply inaccessible. Heck to this day nobody can verify the actual ages of their international cricketers. Not to make excuses, but this undoubtedly affects the overall assessment.

    Either way, pathetic human development rates are endemic to South Asia, and frankly cultural issues play a huge role. India as the most populous nation clearly takes a major share of the blame, especially considering the human conditions get worse with increasing population density.

    I have no doubt that there are many in the Indian establishment (especially at the upper echelon) who want to address this issue and bring about change. India is also unique (within the developing world) in that its legal and legislative structure can actually assist this process only if implemented properly. But clearly there are roadblocks on the ground level which has prevented this from happening. Here too culture plays a huge role, but hypersensitivity negates any constructive discourse. Simply pouring money over and over again into the black hole of over sized and bloated government "anti poverty schemes" alone will not achieve anything. In fact the government alone can't really provide a solution.

    There needs to be a paradigm shift which also factors in cultural change based on honest introspection. In which case, the society as a whole would have to play a much greater role.
  6. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

    Jul 1, 2009
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    2010 HDI rank and change in rank from 2005 to 2010

    * h = position +
    * i = position -

    Afghanistan 155 h 1
    Albania 64 i 1
    Algeria 84 h 1
    Andorra 30 h 2
    Angola 146 h 2
    Argentina 46 h 4
    Armenia 76
    Australia 2
    Austria 25 i 1
    Azerbaijan 67 h 16
    Bahamas 43 i 3
    Bahrain 39 i 1
    Bangladesh 129 h 1
    Barbados 42 i 1
    Belarus 61 h 1
    Belgium 18 i 1
    Belize 78 i 9
    Benin 134
    Bolivia, Plurinational State of 95 i 3
    Bosnia and Herzegovina 68 i 4
    Botswana 98 h 2
    Brazil 73
    Brunei Darussalam 37 i 4
    Bulgaria 58 i 1
    Burkina Faso 161
    Burundi 166 h 1
    Cambodia 124 h 1
    Cameroon 131 i 2
    Canada 8
    Cape Verde 118 i 1
    Central African Republic 159 i 1
    Chad 163 i 6
    Chile 45 h 2
    China 89 h 8
    Colombia 79 h 2
    Comoros 140 i 8
    Congo 126 i 4
    Congo, Democratic Republic of the 168
    Costa Rica 62 i 1
    Côte d’Ivoire 149 i 4
    Croatia 51 i 2
    Cyprus 35 h 4
    Czech Republic 28 i 2
    Denmark 19 i 3
    Djibouti 147 i 1
    Dominican Republic 88
    Ecuador 77 i 2
    Egypt 101 h 2
    El Salvador 90
    Equatorial Guinea 117 h 1
    Estonia 34 i 3
    Ethiopia 157 h 3
    Fiji 86 i 9
    Finland 16 i 2
    France 14 h 5
    Gabon 93 h 1
    Gambia 151 i 1
    Georgia 74 i 3
    Germany 10 i 1
    Ghana 130 i 2
    Greece 22 h 3
    Guatemala 116
    Guinea 156 i 1
    Guinea-Bissau 164 i 1
    Guyana 104 h 1
    Haiti 145 i 6
    Honduras 106
    Hong Kong, China (SAR) 21 h 2
    Hungary 36 i 1
    Iceland 17 i 10
    India 119 h 1
    Indonesia 108 h 2
    Iran, Islamic Republic of 70 h 10
    Ireland 5
    Israel 15
    Italy 23 h 4
    Jamaica 80 i 6
    Japan 11 h 1
    Jordan 82 h 2
    Kazakhstan 66 i 1
    Kenya 128 i 1
    Korea, Republic of 12 h 8
    Kuwait 47 i 2
    Kyrgyzstan 109
    Lao People’s Democratic Republic 122 h 4
    Latvia 48 i 2
    Lesotho 141 i 1
    Liberia 162 h 2
    Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 53 h 3
    Liechtenstein 6 h 5
    Lithuania 44 i 2
    Luxembourg 24 i 6
    Madagascar 135 i 2
    Malawi 153
    Malaysia 57 i 2
    Maldives 107 h 4
    Mali 160 h 2
    Malta 33 i 3
    Mauritania 136
    Mauritius 72 i 2
    Mexico 56 i 2
    Micronesia, Federated States of 103 i 5
    Moldova, Republic of 99
    Mongolia 100 h 2
    Montenegro 49 i 1
    Morocco 114 h 1
    Mozambique 165
    Myanmar 132 h 6
    Namibia 105 h 2
    Nepal 138 h 5
    Netherlands 7 h 3
    New Zealand 3
    Nicaragua 115 i 2
    Niger 167 i 1
    Nigeria 142
    Norway 1
    Pakistan 125 i 2
    Panama 54 h 4
    Papua New Guinea 137
    Paraguay 96
    Peru 63 h 4
    Philippines 97 i 2
    Poland 41 h 3
    Portugal 40 h 3
    Qatar 38 i 4
    Romania 50 h 1
    Russian Federation 65 h 3
    Rwanda 152 h 2
    São Tomé and Príncipe 127 i 3
    Saudi Arabia 55 i 2
    Senegal 144
    Serbia 60 i 1
    Sierra Leone 158 h 1
    Singapore 27 h 1
    Slovakia 31 h 5
    Slovenia 29
    Solomon Islands 123 i 4
    South Africa 110 i 6
    Spain 20 h 1
    Sri Lanka 91
    Sudan 154 i 2
    Suriname 94 i 5
    Swaziland 121
    Sweden 9 i 3
    Switzerland 13
    Syrian Arab Republic 111 i 3
    Tajikistan 112
    Tanzania, United Republic of 148 h 1
    Thailand 92 h 1
    The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 71 h 1
    Timor-Leste 120 h 11
    Togo 139 i 4
    Tonga 85 i 6
    Trinidad and Tobago 59 h 1
    Tunisia 81 h 5
    Turkey 83 i 1
    Turkmenistan 87
    Uganda 143 h 4
    Ukraine 69 i 3
    United Arab Emirates 32 h 5
    United Kingdom 26 i 4
    United States 4
    Uruguay 52
    Uzbekistan 102 i 1
    Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of 75 h 3
    Viet Nam 113 h 1
    Yemen 133 h 8
    Zambia 150 h 1
    Zimbabwe 169
  7. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    World's Top Movers in HDI improvement: 1970-2010

    Top movers in HDI over all

    1. Oman
    2. China
    3, Nepal
    4. Indonesia
    5. Saudi Arabia
    6. Laos
    7. Tunisia
    8. South Korea
    9. Algeria

    Top movers for non-income HDI
    1. Oman
    2. Nepal
    3. Saudi Arabia
    4. Libya
    5. Algeria
    6. Tunisia
    7. Iran
    8. Ethiopia
    9. South Korea

    Top movers for just Income

    1. China
    2. Botswana
    3. South Korea
    4. Hong Kong, China
    5. Malaysia
    6. Indonesia
    7. Malta
    8. Vietnam
    9. Mauritiua

    2010 Human Development Report:
    40-year Trends Analysis Shows Poor Countries Making Faster Development Gains
  8. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

    Jun 3, 2009
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    I'm glad to see Oman on these lists. I have always been extremely impressed by how the Oman has remained steadfast with its education (particularly women's education) initiatives while balancing a highly tribal cultural past over the last 3 decades. I have no doubt that the Omani people will be the beneficiaries of the excellent decision making and execution of the leadership. Oman's evolution has also been markedly different from the more oil rich gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia. I may be wrong, but it seems like Qatar might be on the same path as Oman. Either way, this is good news.

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